Telltale Games, one of many sad cases in the games industry, may actually get a real second shot at life in some form.
For those who somehow did not know, Telltale Games landed in a fair bit of financial trouble some months ago. Despite delivering some very solid games based on popular franchises. Their most popular title by far being the first season of The Walking Dead, an amazingly emotional zombie that began the story of Lee and Clementine within the brutal world of the comics sharing the same name. That first season was a major smash-hit, after Telletale had only found minor success with similar titles in their characteristic adventure game style.
Building from that success, Telltale branched out into other source material, going on to create adventure games based on popular fiction like Game of Thrones and Minecraft. Many of these titles were well-done, but seriously failed to capture the same level of notoriety and sales figures of that initial breakout hit. Their final project ended up being the final chapter of Clementine’s story, a project which ultimately had to be wrapped up by another studio entirely. That’s because a major cash shortfall caused the company to essentially implode rather suddenly, laying off its staff without severance, much to the shock of the wider industry.
The sudden bankruptcy of the company definitely left a hole in the industry.
If you want more of an insight into the story of Telltale and the people that worked on their games, Noclip put out an excellent documentary on just that. You can see that below, but it’s not what we’re really here to talk about.
That’s because a new company has managed to gather the rights and financial investment needed to revive Telltale Games in a manner of speaking. The goal of this project isn’t to recreate Telltale as a whole, as the investors and workers want to avoid the problems Telltale ran into, but rather to pick up where the original left off.
Specifically, the new company has snapped up rights to properties The Wolf Among Us and Batman as well as full rights to original Telltale games such as Puzzle Agent.
The effort, being helmed by Jamie Ottilie and Brian Waddle, is aimed at reviving some of the Telltale projects that got scrapped in the chaos. LCG currently holds the rights to the Telltale Games brand name, as well as some licenses the company had negotiated. And of course, LCG also has access to various engine code and assets Telltale was making use of for their games. You might know those names from their work on licensed games based on Duck Dynasty and Power Rangers.
Speaking with GameDaily.biz, Ottilie explained that LCG, Athlon, and a handful of other investors in the industry believe wholeheartedly in the project saying; “The more we looked at it, the more we kind of went, ‘Hey, this is a good business, this is a viable business and it seems like under the right conditions this could be stood back up and we can continue to enjoy Telltale Games and like game makers tell stories.’”
Details are pretty scarce so far, but as far as we can see, the strucutre of the games that LCG finishes up will remain true to the work of the original Telltale. To Polygon, Ottilie outlined a bit about what the company plans to do, “We will probably keep the concept of episodes but with different pacing. This is a different world, from a media consumption standpoint. We need to look at how people like to entertain themselves. I like the idea of binge-watching.”
And though the revived company won’t be hiring back all the staff from the old Telltale as full-time employees, even though they should for anyone still struggling to find work, it’s at the very least a step in the right direction.